"Towsontowne Recreation Council baseball players shake hands Saturday, May 22, 2010 during introductions for the 9-10 age group All-Star Game."

I went to the Riderwood Elementary School yesterday with Thomas, my best friend and long time baseball teammate. We wanted to attend the dedication of one of the fields there, which was renamed to honor Bruce Winand, a well-known Towsontowne Recreation Council coach and administrator who passed away several months ago.

I played with his son, Garrett, on several teams during my baseball days.

My expectations for the day couldn’t have been more wrong.

Rather than the quiet, reflective ceremony that I imagined, the dedication was full of smiles and humor. The Rec. Council held the dedication right before the start of the 7-8 and 9-10 All-Star games, so there was a huge crowd of players, coaches, friends, and families. Weather reports called for rain, yet it was a beautiful sunny day.

This was a celebration.

As I stood on the pitcher’s mound, surrounded by smiling little-leaguers, I couldn’t help but think back to my playing days. It seems like just yesterday that I was out there running up the first base line after my name was announced during introductions. I’ve spent the past day reminiscing on all that the game has taught me and replaying all the incredible memories in my head.

This kid’s face says it all, I think.